Clinica Esperanza to Shut Its Doors After Today

Bogged down by red tape, Nurse Peggy can no longer operate the clinic

BY JEFF STRATTON

Unused and unlicensed: The upstairs of Nurse Peggy's clinic, waiting since March for approval to open

A press release issued by Nurse Peggy Stranges at 8:30 a.m. today:

“It is unfortunate that we are closing Clinica Esperanza on Monday. We have worked with the Ministry of Health since before March to acquire our license for the clinic without success. We also have a container with necessary equipment for the municipal hospital and Clinica Esperanza that has been here since April and has not been released. The Ministry of Health has been working on a dispensa for the container since February. We can no longer sit by idly while the people of Roatan suffer for these two pieces of paper.

I want to thank Julio Galindo and the Grant family for donating the land that made Clinica Esperanza a reality. I want to thank deputado Romeo Silvestri, Dr. Fermin Lopez and Mr. Clinton Everett for all their help in dealing with the license and the container
release.

I am sorry for any inconvenience this causes our patients but we can no longer continue under the present circumstances.”

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13 thoughts on “Clinica Esperanza to Shut Its Doors After Today

  1. What a horrible disservice to the people! Peggy and her volunteers are true blessings to close because of red tape is just the worst. The government needs to gets it’s act together, people are suffering!!!!!

    Two pieces of paper…that takes two minutes, not three months!

  2. Dr. Glen, the dentist, fixed my problem tooth….14yrs and 7+ dentists and he fixed it in a matter of minutes!! And the PA’s were amazing with helping me with my neck and ear!! Peggy and her volunteers are such an assest to the island…it would be an absolute tragedy for them to be shut down!

  3. The issue is definitely not as clear-cut as it seems. Those who have been involved with Clinica Esperanza from the beginning were told many times to get the proper paperwork and to take the time to get the proper certification before investing so much in the clinic. Has no one ever been concerned that the clinic has never had a proper license to operate? Granted, those involved with the clinic have helped many people and I’m sure had the best intentions, but it is a familiar symptom of the egotistical aspirations of a few foreigners who think that they can by-pass the rules of a developing country and just forge ahead with what they want to accomplish. There is no way that someone would ever try to open a medical clinic, dispensing prescriptions to the public, in the U.S. without being ceritfied to do so. The people who run Clinica Esperanza have had many run-ins with the top medical officials on the island, and have never tried to work in co-operation with them, but have very publicly denounced many officials on Roatan. Peggy has never tried to work with the public health care system, but has very publicly scorned them. This is no way to work in a developing country; in any area, community development must be paramount, which means trying one’s hardest to forge ties with the community, especially with local politicians and doctors. If one looks at other health care models in other developing countries, such as that of Partners in Health in Haiti run by Paul Farmer, huge inroads in public health have been made because of consistent cooperation with the public health care system. Of course there are huge problems with the public health care system on Roatan, but a clinic like Clinica Esperanza had the opportunity to build bridges and to form partnerships that could have reformed the entire health care system on the island, instead of constantly battling with officials. For those who are not aware, Peggy’s infamous venemous tongue, in conjunction with Dr. Patrick’s giant and misplaced ego and Dr. Raymond’s political aspirations have often put them at odds with many Honduran officials and doctors, from those who run the hospital to those who are trying their hardest to serve the public at other clinics on the island.This has become an issue of seemingly arrogant Americans vs. Honduran policy makers, doctors and politicians, I’m sure for those of you who only know Peggy as a friendly face out at dinner on the island, this seems hugely unfair, but rest assured, those who know Peggy personally have often fallen victim to her bitter rants and poisonous gossip. She has hurt many well-meaning people through her lack of diplomacy, and it is often her volunteers, many of them med students and interns, all of them paying at least $500 a month to volunteer with her, who have suffered her rants and slights. I have no doubt that if a different group of people, following a more enlightened model of development in heatlh care had undertaken the Clinica Esperanza model on Roatan, there would have been a more successful outcome.

  4. UNBELIEVABLE and unacceptable conduct on the part of the inept bumblers who call themselves the Honduran Government. This clinic, and this person, are essential lifesavers on this island (please ask Liz Riggs about this if you have doubts.) SOMEthing has to change. Mr Galindo, are you listening?

  5. I’ve known Miss Peggy for many years and this is just unbelievable. This lady has a big heart and has helped countless poor in Roatan. If there is no license to operate, it smells of government bumbling. It is dangerous to speak out in public, as o
    ne of the biggest factors that negatively affects Honduran society is REVENGE. Where are all the Christians?
    Dave in Ceiba

  6. Who is the numb-nut with the long post about how horrible Peggy is, two comments up. This page needs a filter. What an idiot! Her clinic has saved so many lives and only helps the very unfortunate Honduran population. Bottom line: who cares if she has a venomous tongue and no official paperwork as you say, she is (or should I say was) providing a much needed service to the people who live here on Roatan. Who else has even attempted to do that? Someone better who would have been able to get the necessary documentation without a struggle, ya right, not in this country. Poor Peggy, poor people of Roatan. All we can do is hope and pray.

  7. I have no clue who is the embittered creature who wrote the above diatribe. Most of it is not worthy of response.

    Be assured of the following:
    1. Clinica Esperanza has operated as a duly licensed outpatient clinic since 2006. Our license is on the wall in the waiting room. Our goal to begin inpatient treatment requires a different sort of license. We have been working on this for a year and a half.

    2. Clinica Esperanza does charge non-licensed volunteers a $500 a month program fee. Comparable programs in the developing world charge 2-4 times this amount. We have never refused a student who requested to waive this fee due to financial hardship. There is no charge to “interns” or other licensed providers. Universities and colleges are not free. A student working for course credit in our facility or a similar one should expect to pay something for the experience. The funding from this program provides medicines and treatment for the underserved of our community.

    3. Clinica Esperanza has a long history of collaboration with the public hospital in Roatan as well as private doctors in our community. To wit, note the new laparoscopic surgery equipment at Roatan Hospital–provided through the efforts of Ms. Peggy and Clinica Esperanza. Note the new dental suite at Roatan Hospital–same source. I could go on.

    4. In my 32 years of medical practice, I have never encountered a medical professional more caring and more dedicated than Ms. Peggy. And no one who is willing to be available 24/7 to persons in need on our Island. I turn off my phone at night.

    Not sure what motivates the above person to make so many unfounded and damaging statements. This person has never been involved in any way with our operation. If you don’t like us or what we are doing, go else where for your medical care. We have plenty to do.

  8. Pingback: Clinica Esperanza, Closed at the Moment, Fights Sticky Red Tape to Re-Open ASAP | roatanreporter

  9. L. Middleton sounds jealous of Peggy for obvious reasons. Middleton would probably find ugly things to say about Mother Teresa. There is always a bad apple in every bunch. Peggy is an angel here on earth.

  10. Clinica Esperanza has operated for the past 6+ years as an outpatient clinic–essentially a doctor’s private office. This is quite different from an inpatient operation which is a hospital. A doctor’s office requires a business license from the municipality in which it operates. A hospital requires a license from the Ministry of Health in Tegus in addition to the business permit.

  11. Thanks for the license explanation. Licensing is much like it is in the US and Canada (except Canada does not require a business license since it is not considered a business). You didn’t answer as to whether the out-patient clinic that has been operating for 6+ years is also being closed and if so, why… If a hospital license is granted from the government does that mean that the hospital may request funds from the government or private insurance companies?

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